March 2014 - It's coming like a train on the tracks or an earthquake on the fault.... Finally a minature show on Major TV Network!!! I am submitting my life size vintage RV run with 12 volt and solar. What will you submit?
Casting: Dollhouse and Miniature Enthusiasts! Magilla Entertainment is now casting miniature enthusiasts who are passionate about the art of dollhouses. Do you have miniatures that no one else has? Do you have a custom built dollhouse made just for you? Are people enamored by your pieces and collections? We are looking to share the stories of the avid collector for a new documentary series for a major cable network. If this is you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name, location, contact information (phone and email) and a bit about your collections.
I will be at the 3 Blind Mice Miniature show at the Comfort Inn in Pittsburgh PA this Friday and Saturday 4-9pm Friday and Saturday 10am-2pm Come see me at 699 Rodi Rd!
2013, that is going to take some getting used to.... This weekend we are heading back to Chicago for another show! Use the coupon below for money off admission. Hope to see you there!
Mi dispiace, I have been AWOL for a couple of weeks.. my projects have been all consuming and my cell phone that I rely on to take fast, easily transferred photos is still not functioning. I see a real camera in my near future. My Christmas was very quiet, with most days preceding being full of last minute preparations to make up for so much lost time. And Christmas day I spent mostly in the warmest room in the house, because I was really tired of being cold.. Starting on Christmas Eve, and even continuing now, Michigan has become a snowglobe. I was walking back after the Les Miserables premiere at 3 am this morning and there was a snowy glaze over the city. But today there is a thick blanket of fine snow, the result of what seems like unending flurries today. Needless to say I was happy to be inside, applying cedar shingles to the newest house. I managed to shoot a few pics of the holiday decor I have spent so many hours on. Happy Holidays everyone!!!
December 12th, 2012
So first off I have a correction on my 2nd from last blog entry.... Kathleen does not have a daughter, apparently I really wanted her to have one, so I made it up....or I just feed my brain far to much random information. Anywho I have a couple of new paintings and chairs I wanted to share pics of today and mention a few dollhouse starring roles on the television lately... Pics first
Disclaimer here...I watch lots of television, watch being a relative term because I usually am working on my tiny projects while its on, so I really listen to the shows more than watch. Sometimes I look up and wish I could scrub my eyeballs. Or use the MIB flash mind eraser. So when I look up and see a dollhouse or doll furniture it thrills me no matter what show its on. Rizzoli & Isles, Dexter, Upstairs Downstairs, and The Wire have all suprised me lately with little snippets, and a few movies as well. Dexter had a couple of shots of Hannah Mckay and her childhood dollhouse that looked like a modified Orchid kit. It was fun to see it with a giant bow around it in the Christmas Eve scene even though no one mentioned it. Rizzoli & Isles had an episode titled the Dollhouse and unfortunately the whole thing centered around a few murders, but it was great to see my own dollhouse the Jamestown in the back of a few sets. Upstairs Downstairs had a huge dollhouse in the salon that Miss Pamela was playing with, so de riguer! The Wire is the last show I would have expected to see dollhouse furniture, but there they were being packed up by a detective. No one mentioned it, but I am new to that show so maybe I missed their significance. Likely. I don't even know the character's name. Very bloody show, I think I have PTSD. Hence the memory loss. I really did not like the movie "the Lovely Bones" but I did like seeing all of the dollhouses, even if they were part of the predator's plan. Dollhouses are either stuffed in an attic or lovingly tended by serial killers on television shows, I wonder where that stigma originated???
December 4th, 2012
As promised, here are the pics from Kathleen Smith of CA sent me of her lovely little mid-century mod cocktail party in full swing. Barometric pressure has me super headachey and cranky today, so I am directly quoting Kathy here: Made the house from a cardboard box & foamcore. Furniture in living room, bedroom, & the bar & chairs by Miner Industries circa 1960s. The plastic figures are by MPC from their Teenettes line, also 1960s. The male figures are hard to find. Paintings by etsy seller Elizabeth Welker, 5th Dimension Studios. I love the fact that they are up and partying, and the tray of what looks like crescent square sandwiches makes me hungry... Can you believe mid-century mod is almost antique???? Only takes a hundred years and they are almost there! But then the all white room was a big deal in the 20's so its closer to antique than mid-century... I feel research coming on!
December 3rd, 2012
You know that saying "if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans"? Well I really should know better than to state definitively that I am going to post something on my blog the next day....HAH, the Frenchman highjacked the desktop and it was gone for three days, on top of that my smartphone decided to stop being a phone and just access the internet whilst relaxing at home base. ARRRGGHHH!!!!! Not wishing to become a hacker and bust into my own blog I decided to just be patient and wait until the computer came back from the farm. Baaaa. So for today one very late picture of a customer's use of my albino bat lamp in her daughter's dollhouse that she has lovingly remodeled. Tomorrow, hopefully but don't hold your breath, the rest of her projects when I can more adequately list the credits.
November 19th, 2012
Super quick today, I was watching the Lifetime movie about Coco Chanel, Shirley Maclaine version and love it, but had to make some Chanelesque items afterward...Also want to make a copy in miniature of her apartment in the WORST way.... check back later. Here are the fruits of my labor that day! All 1:12 scale, and up at Giginstudio on Etsy!!!!
BBS ...boring blog syndrome is what I am thinking about today. Several of the blogs I have a "subscription" to have left me less than interested in their posts lately. I realize its difficult to come up with something brilliant to post about everyday, so why not keep your posts down to those that you at least have time to write well?? I always ask myself this question before I post ....Who cares???? Literally I use the same editing method for everything thing I post on FB, Twitter or the blog here because if I can't imagine anyone taking the time to read about it then why post? Loads snatch pictures from some other site and write some half-hearted description. How can they justify that as writing? Tweets that just contain a link to some shopping link drive me nuts... I understand why people tweet these things constantly but it makes me grind my teeth in disgust. I try to spend most of my day actually making artistic creations for the majority of the day, leaving little time for banal posts about what I ate for lunch or what foursquare I am currently the Mayor of. ( Not ever the Mayor, don't bother with that bull excrement) And don't even get me started on the people who have "sponsored posts" about places they have never been or products they don't use. I am not stupid enough to fall for that, come on! I resisted even starting a blog, I heard that they would never last, never take off and go the way of newspapers and the dodo bird, but I think blogs have the same appeal as reality tv, namely we have curious natures. I indulge in quite a few TV shows while I am working throughout the day, either on demand or during primetime, but what I never succombe to are the reality tv shows where people acting out the definition of stupid on every episode. Not because I think of myself as better, just I prefer a little intellectual challenge with my TV diet. Shouting, fighting, talking over each other constantly and lewd behavior aren't interesting to me while I am working on my projects. I am a highly visual person, so I enjoy the sets that set designers put so much time and effort into, and most people barely notice. True I usually listen to the shows more than watch since I have to look at what I am doing, but I have seen dollhouse or doll furniture in every series I have watched lately. Which brings me to the point of my little (hah miniature) tirade today. I am going to be pointing out the shows that have miniatures in them, use tilt-shift on a regular basis, have characters that make miniatures, whatever wherever I see it because I am tired of BBS. A customer of mine sent me some pics of the dollhouse she is making for her daughter, so starting tomorrow, I post what other people are doing in the miniature world, and how it inspires me!
November 13th, 2012
This morning was very exciting at Gigi N Studio... found the giant orange cat Momo sitting in front of the kitchen sink cabinets... that means only one thing....then when he began to paw around under the dishwasher it was even more evident...as I watched him chase a small dark figure across the floor I snapped awake, there is a mouse in the house!!!! If you remember from early this year I was battling the same issue, living in the woods = mice find their way into the house. So since Lolo the Terrible left us I thought we were going to have to rely on things like mint pouches and snap traps to keep our home from becoming an actual zoo. Well Momo has proven he is no slouch when it comes to pest control. He chased that little mouse up into the kitchen drapes and then sat and pawed them until I got invovled ( Daisy dog too but she gave up rather quickly) I moved all of the drapes and shook them, convinced he had disappeared some how, then I saw the little face peering down at me from the curtain rod. I picked up Momo trying to show him his vigil at floor level was in vain, but he was more than a little obtuse. The little mouse scurried to the corner of the room where the curtain rod stopped and turned and looked at me in fear. I turned a bright spotlight on him and the poor little guy quaked under the interrogation light. So the hubbster got involved and scooped him up into a metal bin where he awaits release into the wild a good distance away...moral of the story : when then cat is sitting in front of cupboards the morning will not be dull. But in honor of election day I wanted to add more pics of the book room inside the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Books that I got in Toledo from a lovely collector who was deaccessioning just a little. I literally rubbernecked when I saw the roombooks because I have the entire set of books, without room inside! I recently began an extensive renovation of the remaining untouched rooms in the house and the spaces I use as workrooms. So when I saw the roombooks I knew they would have a spot in the studio with their corresponding matching book set. Those pics will come later, but for now here are some close ups of what I threw inside for fun.... A Renwal fireplace, my sisal rug, my 3/4 scale platinum chocolate sofa two of my leather ottomans and silver side table, my India house painting and way in the corner a butterfly cloche at the top of the fireplace. I may change things up for permanent display, but for now it is quite a cozy little study.
October 31st, 2012
Happy Halloween!!! Two things today, I was looking through one of my fav architecture books that has historical plans from Victorian cottages and I noticed that the gothic cottage plans match the new Hampton house I made almost exactly with the exception of a central fireplace. Pretty cool. Second, I made up some halloween themed cabinets and wanted to share them on the real day.... all glow in the dark fillings if you will. never met a phosphorous I did not like....
October 26th, 2012
Here's that coupon for Toledo today and tomorrow! Print it up in black and white and save some green! Or show it to Linda on your smartphone and she'll accept! St Clement Hall, 2990 Tremainsville Road, Toledo, Ohio 43613
October 25th, 2012
I have a show coming up in Toledo this week, a coupon for that will be posted fortwith, but for now I wanted to share another photo from Paris that has inspired my latest painting collection. I have been noticing more typing errors that usual in my blogs, I have a feeling it has something to do with a very large orange cat that is currently reclining with at least two feet on top of the keyboard.... He is happily purring away, while I scan for misplaced letters, oh the life of a cat.
October 22nd, 2012
I've mentioned I am a big Tim Burton fan right? Well between Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, I am in dark decorating heaven! The mansion in Dark Shadows fulfills my love of the sea and enormous spaces ( not to mention an incredible graphic marble floor) So my real house is getting a small make over in the kitchen area bringing an additional color in to add to the sea kelp green walls and black cabinets. The picture below has a teacup that was part of my grandmother's collection It was a lone mid century standout in a sea of roses and violets in pastels. I love roses and violets, but there is no room for baby pink or yellow in my house, so this little cup became the inspiration for the whole makeover. The room has heavy doses of white to counteract all of the dark dramatic tones Dynamic Magenta from Behr and Citronette and Cordite all from Behr shown bring out the colors in the wheat sheaves perfectly. I am hoping to find more of the set, but for now, I have three tea cups and saucers, that work splendidly with basic bright white china, or the Eva Zeisel set. I have a fabric in mind for the drapes, but it may compete too much with the view of the woods.... more on that later. Must buy a swatch and see. Anyhoo, I also have taken the victorian era drama to the minis projects as well. Below are a few pics of my new wall art, some mod in victorian frames, some abstracts in victorian frames some just straight up cottage...
October 10th, 2012
So I have been posting my blog on a wordpress site in the misguided hopes it would increase my posting...hardly. I couldn't find the blog in a web search and I knew where it was, so back to the tried and true that works, albeit with no comment capabilty, or e-mail support. Simpler anyway. Things have gotten cooler here in Michigan and so my project thoughts turn to indoor inspiration. The new house, the Hampton Style house, is my version of a beach cottage that has spent years being salt water weathered. I decided to decorate the inside in a blue, mustard and green scheme to nod towards nautical without beating you over the head with it. I absolutely love the way the flower vines on the house turned out, worth every second of the three days it took to make and apply. The desk under the stairs is a personal dream come true, here in Michigan there is usually just more stairs under the stairs, I do love a desk tucked under! The bathroom is enormous, big enough for a mini party, sone to be getting a few towel bars and rug... The kitchen is long galley style with some fantastic wee wallpaper from Julie at JLM Art on Etsy. Its an antique treasure map that looks like the dollhouse inhabitants stripped old wallpaper and left what they found underneath. I personally love the look of bright new finishes contrasting with the patina only age and weather can create so I continued it onto the upstairs hallway floor as well. And that little lamp on the table in the family room, its a edison style bulb under a glass dome. I will be making that lamp for my full size home this week too. Here are the images you need to see where a couple of my months have gone...
July 8th, 2012
The miniaturist in me loves that every castle in France has a small model castle somewhere in it.... just goes to show that even if bigger is better we are all ultimately fascinated with teensy tiny things. Didn't I show them to you yet??? My bad, I posted on Flickr then forgot to add them to the blog...mea culpa! Who says it's a dying art? One Kings Lane and Ballard Designs have model staircases, miniature boats and airplanes, and architectural models of doumos... it's not dying, just waking up!!!!
July 1st, 2012
We had yet another funeral here at Gigi N Studio....Lolo the Terrible lost her three week battle with lymphoma. She was a fantastic cat for 13 years and is sorely missed everyday. In honour of her extreme fondness for all things French, here are a few more photos from the recent trip.
June 26th, 2012
No rest for the weary, or the wicked, or anyone..... I just came back from France and the hotel smack dab in Paris was quieter, because a couple of birds out in the country decided to make sure the American Girl in Chaumont did not under any circumstances sleep too late. I am sure if the window had not been open all night I may have been guilty of such decadence, but since the nights were cool, windows were flung open. Good thing at Chateau Des Tertres they serve the best cafe au lait I had my entire stay in France. My petite dejuener was lifeblood, as much as I enjoyed the Pablo Picasso and smoothies at Cafe Le Zimmer, the simple fromage blanc and apricots with warm buttery croissants and the fantastic cafe au lait that came in an adorable duo of pitchers was the highlight of my morning. As well as saying hello to Savannah the resident cat who luxuriated on the balustrade while we stuffed ourselves. So in reverse, I spent three days in Paris and really two in Chaumont....visited Versailles on Monday when it is closed of course...walked endlessly because that's what you do in Europe, and saw every pet in the shops along the Seine. Had I not had so many animals back home, quite a few would have come home with me. Fascinating as well was the number of chickens that were for sale in Paris, a rooster too that I gleefully cockadoodle dooed with for a few minutes, I am sure to the chagrin of the people surrounding me. In Paris we stayed at Hotel Britannique which ironically was right across the street from Le Dernier Bar Avant Le Fin Du Monde. Hotel Britannique was delightful as well, but no cat.
June 8th, 2012
Show this weekend!!!!!! 3 Blind Mice Best Western Plus 1725 E. Algonquin Road Schaumburg, ILL Friday 4 pm to 9 pm Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Funny, a chipmunk was chirping at me through my kitchen window all day yesterday...no matter how often the dog went in and out....if I were in a Disney movie I really let the guy down. I had no idea what he was telling me....
June 1st, 2012
Finally a rainy day that allows me to work inside all day long.....The usual outdoor tasks are out of sight and out of mind... I ordered some CSA style veggies from Gilt.com the other day, and received them yesterday afternoon, they really are gorgeous, almost too gorge to eat! It makes me want to cook tiny little dishes with them and put them on the new Meissen style plates I made. Instead I cooked a real meal, see below.
May 22nd, 2012
Yikes where has over a month gone????? Here is the reason I have not been blogging...
The entire 3/4 of an acre looked like that last summer, so I decided to get out there early this year and tame things a little. My arms are so tired I can barely lift them. Good thing I make miniatures.
Going to be rolling out lots of new styles for the April show, here is a little taste... be warned some of the furniture is stealth, you have to look very closely to see it, it has a high tech military self-camouflaging surface......beyond cool
April 12th, 2012
I got a fortune cookie the other day and instead of wise words like they usually have it had some advice which I could not help but ignore. It simply said " Relax and enjoy yourself" Well la-de-da, if only! I laugh because my daughter's first sentence was very close to that. She repeated back to me what I am sure I had said to her thousands of times, "Why don't you sit down and relax for awhile?" Telling words out of a 2 year old, that I quickly heeded, but from a fortune cookie....sigh.... Anywhooo the reason I cannot relax is the Chicago Spring Show is coming up next week!!!!!! Very exciting, all the miniaturist come out of winter hiding and get together to see what everyone has been up to. Below is a coupon for the 3 Blind Mice Show I will be in April 19th,20th-21st, you can get $1.00 off the very reasonable entrance fee for up to six people, oh and the driver gets in free when you carpool, I believe, of course there is a show shuttle running like usual so come on out and enjoy lovely Schaumburg.
April 1st, 2012
In honor of April Fool's Day, I am rolling out the new printed pillow designs for April at Gigi N Studio. No joking it's faux bois.... Everything old is new again, imitation is the finest form of flattery, and there is nothing new under the sun, and all of those fantastic sayings....
March 31st, 2012
Yesterday at Gigi's Studio was cold and rainy with tiny hail that looked like dollhouse sized snowballs. So every fireplace had fire and candles were lit and tea was made. Copious amounts of tea. And below is a pic of what we all wanted to be doing....
March 23rd, 2012
Stuart Little: I anthropomorphize animals on a regular basis, I talk to all of my animals, they respond back in kind and I interepret it as I see fit. I am not alone, humans have been doing this as far back as earliest recorded in the 6th century in Greece with Aesop's Fables and continuing through Greek and Roman Mythology to victorian times with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Beatrix Potter's tales of Peter Rabbit, and Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Well I live in the woods. Animals not only live in my house with me but they all have homes all around outside the house, which of course I have no quarrel with. A few, I don't know how many, mice decided it would be a good idea to move into the house (with THREE resident cats). Now I love animals, and I have no desire to set up traps, I have three cat's, one who not only kills mice and chipmunks but decapitates them as if to say "let that be a lesson to the rest of you"! So I have been plugging up every hole I can find and letting Lolo the terrible into every basement closet, putting her up into the drop ceiling to roam around, hoping that just her scent will deter this unwise relocation of the mouse family. But I do feel bad, they just want somewhere warm to sleep, I am not really afraid of them, just not willing to have the unsanitary aspect that follows as well as destruction. Fortunately the weather has been crazy warm this year and I think the mouse family took the hint and left. I keep thinking about all the stories, and wonder if I should put my skills to use and build a mouse house out in the woods so they can hole up there and leave mine alone.....it would be safer for us all, but will they accept the gesture and stay there? Below are pics of the three guardians, Lolo the Terrible is the grey tabby on the left, lean, mean killing machine. Momo is the orange hefty boy in the middle who uses his claws to skewer his prey, usually my thighs while he is jumping up, but I saw a frog get the sharp end once (ouch!) he never came back.... EeeeEeee is the fluffy Maine Coon, she just leaves bodies in her wake, no real public display of her prowess.
March 2nd, 2012
Yikes, its March already!!!!! The year is flying by and it just started...... While normally during l'hiver we have neige,neige,neige......lately its been pluie,pluie,pluie. Only one real snow day this year and it was lovely! Especially since we did not go anywhere til it had melted by the afternoon. Very convenient!
Perfect weather for fresh baked pain au chocolat from Trader Joe's...mmmmnnnn!
The Ghoul Glam project has been all consuming, no joke! While I work I have the television on, helps me keep up with what's going on outside the studio and keeps my mind from getting bored. Recently I fell off my chair laughing at the lack of knowledge exhibited by a "professional" decorator who declared that pressed steel ceilings were something you would find in an old castle in France.....seriously, I fell off my chair. Normally my French fiance and I just look at each other and laugh when we hear someone describing something incorrectly as French Provincial or like the South of France, but this particular bit of ignorance really has me wishing that people would at least travel to the country they are basing their entire "decorating" style on. Pressed steel ceilings were an outcome of the industrial revolution in the late 1880's, and while pressed zinc work was common in Europe in Germany, pressed tin ceilings as they are commonly known are an American popular item. No self respecting castle in Europe has a pressed steel ceiling. Wood and plaster, yes, steel and zinc were used as roofing, but in the south of France (ahem Provence) zinc would creep in the heat. Tiled roofs were more common. In fact the architecture in the south of France looks very similar to Tuscan architecture, hmmmnnnnn maybe because of similar climate???? I digress, but the point is please learn something about France before you slap a room with French provenance. It was particularly interesting since just recently Nate Berkus said just call something French and people will buy it, how right you are Nate! Just to illustrate here are a few more pictures from my recent trip to (gasp) France and (double gasp) Provence. Note the buildings in Agen, the ones that are from the Middle Ages and appear "Tudor"......throw that in your pot and stir it.
Images from Vaux Le Vicomte, Agen, and Limoges, France
February 14th, 2012
Ghoulia is showing off my new chair for the Ghoul Glam project, and my dog Daisy is modeling her Valentine's jewelry. O.k. not really hers, it's my daughter's, but it makes us feel happy to adorn the dog. This Valentine's Day is bittersweet, we lost a very small member of the family last week, Strong Frankie. He was a very sweet, personable, friendly little chinchilla that we will all miss. We hope his brother, William doesn't miss him too much, and is enjoying the extra doting. Life goes on for the rest of us, but I am reminded that sometimes the ones we love are taken away too soon. Our world has lost some precious talents lately, RIP.
February 4th, 2012
Ahh Soap, where were you when we needed you in Chicago? That's right, on your way from France! A little care package contained a few lovely cubes of my fav savon... always a welcome gift! Some pink bubbly to celebrate the end of the week, a very full custom order rotation, and a studio renovation means I have had little time for blogging. This week will be consumed with projects for a Ghoulish Glam home... such fun darling.
January 18th, 2012
Whew!!! The January Chicago show was an amazing success in spite of all the terrible weather we were slammed with the night before. My Chicago "peeps" came out in full force, it was great seeing all of you! I was thrilled to make it in one piece considering there were at least 50 accidents on my way to Chicago. You've heard of the butter shortage in Europe? Well apparently in the hotel we stayed in soap is a hot commodity. Missy of Green Gables Dollhouse Shop discovered there wasn't any in our room, proceeded to front desk aquired two bars. In the morning Maid took away one. Next night we both were there with two more bars of the precious commodity and sure enough first thing in the morning a maid was knocking at the door, must have heard we had two bars of soap.... I had the nicest compliment from my daughter the other day. She was watching me style the I am a giant dollhouse challenge house for pictures and said "I could live in that house Mom!" I concurred of course, it is one of my favs, but it does need a basement for laundry.... anyway it got me thinking, what is it about a house that catches someones attention and inspires these thoughts of moving into a tiny abode? We all do it, everytime I build a new room box and someone looks at it and tells me they want a room in their real house to look like that, I give my self a mental pat on the back, because comfort is such a basic element in a room's appeal that can be hard to achieve in miniature. True I am so obssesed with making sure things look comfortable that I readjust the lounges by the pool to a comfortable recline even if I am not going to be sitting in them. They just need to look comfortable and it relaxes me. Peoples reactions to miniatures are so connected to their everyday life it makes predicting an outcome very easy. Everyone loves a Halloween house, a log cabin, a cozy cottage, even a lighthouse, or a little travel trailer. By far the most popular dollhouse style is one that looks like you sliced off a bit of Versailles and used the shrink gun from "Despicable Me" on it. We sit around at shows and talk about these things, and have come to the conclusion that dollhousers, rap stars, and drug dealers all have one thing in common; namely that Versailles look is what rich looks like in their head. And everyone wants to look rich. Right? Well, I guess my daughter and I are happy with comfortable. That being said, I think the newest project will be a crazy bed of nails for the dollhouse or something....all the talk of " Despicable Me" makes me want to create beds out of bombs and the like..... Have a comfortable day!
January 8th, 2012
Open letter to all of my household appliances and modes of transportation; Please refrain from self destructing and spewing water a gallon a minute, cracking, repeatedly blinking those annoying red lights and generally making a nuisance of yourself. I have other things to do than minister to a temper tantrum from each of you, sometimes twice a day. And must you really bring my jewelry into the fray???? Had I wanted an indoor pool in the basement I would have built one, thank you, water boiler. And McQueen I realize you are a beemer and you don't like driving over potholes, but really don't you enjoy all the suv's you leave in the dust of your sporty road grippage??? Must you crack in places I have never destroyed on a car before? Silly laptop computer, this is not cold weather, not really, can't you remember how cold it was last winter? And last but not least, engagement ring, a tupperware tote full of toys and you bend to its stronger will????? Diamonds may be hardest, but poor white gold met its match in fired petroleum. Lest the rest of you see fit to join in this seeming mutiny, please know that your continued service and silent obedience is greatly appreciated. Don't make me call in the big guns and replace you all, no one likes to be melted. Thank you, Gigi P.S. Roomba, Daisy Dog would like you to make every effort to avoid her tail in the future. She feels as you are not chased or bit, you could at least show her the same courtesy. New Water Boiler, Lolo Kitty is glad you keep the water inside you, she is not much for swimming.
January 4th, 2012
Can't believe its 2012 already!!!! The past three years have flown by, I still feel like just yesterday I started this madcap adventure into miniature modern. Looking over at my childhood dollhouse and thinking that it would be nice to decorate it like my real house has led to a very fulfilling career putting all of my art and history education to fantastic use. 2012 will bring more new designs and hopefully inspire many new collectors to dip their toes into this amazing hobby. It feels good to innovate, during my first year, everyone ( and I mean everyone!) walked up to my table at a show, cocked their head to one side and said " hunh, something different." Now customers walk up to my table and talk about seeing my items on Etsy or Flickr, and tell me how happy they are to see things that go beyond victorian, colonial or 70's contemporary. East and West coasts snap things up, and the Midwest is slowly widening their horizons... This year I plan to attend every show I can, and find new ways to excite and inspire new collectors. Of course I will continue making custom orders no matter what era they come from. Good things come in small packages, I promise. To all of my customers all over the world, thank you for a great year!
The only house I built on Christmas Day. A paper version of Vaux Le Vicomte from the trip to France...can't help it.
December 20th, 2011
Seriously the weather has been RIDICULOUS!!!! It is so warm that the bushes are sprouting, but we have snow in the morning and its gone by afternoon. If only I had enough mercury lights in the studio to make the same power as the sun....if only. Becoming a hermit crab, (yes a hermit CRAB)was the only way to get this project done in addition to all the others, I literally only left the studio when I had to and was pushing to get back every time, had I been able to order groceries in I would have. My daily walks went down to maybe 3 times a week if that ( my hips don't lie). I existed on coffee, peanut butter and bon bons, that's right bon bons.... I sat on the couch and ate bon bons!!!! Well not really, but I did polish off 4 boxes of french chocolates (delicious,not so nutritious). There is no cooking involved. I also ate an abnormal amount of Taco Bell. With fire sauce. I began to see the little comments on the package like Twitter updates, cue Twilight Zone music. So now the challenge is complete, I am able to get back to normal. Whatever that is.
A brilliant customer named Claire in the UK bought two of my Albino Bat lamps and while shipping them over I thought for a second it was a mistake, but then I realized they make fantastic sconces ( DuH!)...so the front door has two rectangular mirror backed sconces that I sprinkled a little snow in just for more light reflection But where are the dining room chairs in these photos???? Perhaps they are still at the uhpolsterer???? Wink, wink... that's my story and I am sticking to it. Let's see if they show up in some pics later. And yes I DID paint my nails in Mermaid Tears just because it matches for this shoot, deal with it.
December 15th, 2011
Ta- Dah!!!!! The rest of the rooms.... I have been battling dark, dreary rainy days, that make a photo shoot less than enjoyable. But today I managed to get almost all of the shots I was looking for this post. I still need one gorgeous sunny day for the glamour shot in the kitchen, but since I am smack dab in the middle o' winter, its an elusive beast. So here are the Kitchen shots, Child's room and Master bedroom, the Hallway and Bathroom will have to wait till tomorrow. I swear it takes longer to style a miniature room for pics than a big one, I kept knocking things off shelves even though I used an entire package of glue dots in this house!
So the credits in the kitchen are extensive, I made the restaurant style fridge, stove, farmhouse marble sink, counter and cabinets and tables. The wall shelves are also my creation as are the wine bottles above the fridge the mounted butterfly display the green pumpkins and the feather duster. All of the jade dinnerware is from Chrsynbon, there are a ton of ceramics from Alex, The gold filagree platter is from Bernadaud, the tiny white pots are from Dragonfly International, french doors are from Houseworks and I made the doorknobs. The tiny sheep ceramic is from Mary H Barrett. The jade and black crystal orb that inspired the color scheme is from Hobby Lobby.
The painted cheese dome is from P.D. Hartman on Etsy, the tray is from Hobby Lobby, and the slices of bread are from Linda Frye. I made the tables, the cow rug, and the cheeses on the counter.
A good closeup of the perfume flask lamp, I really love the way it turned out with the faint remants of lettering, it is beyond fabulous! Just scrape off the lettering with a razor, and wash it well so you don't start any fires.
The side chair in the master bedroom is an unfinished Bespaq from the Hasting's collection, curtains from Gigi N Studio (me)and a small faux fur jacket I made as well. The brass mirror surround is from Gloria Bogules. On the bed are my leopard, coffee, and letter pillows, a tufted headboard by me (Gigi N Studio) and a tomato silk duvet with crystal buttons also my handiwork. I made the tissue box and the renters table is another Bespaq item.
I made the black and white coral painting and the redhead repro. The silver perfume flask is mine as is the bat cloche, the oblesk is from For Love 21 and the incredible bronze whippett is from The Shape of Lies in NYC. The crystal chandi is made with a button from the vintage collection of the lovely Bobbi Beagle. Doors, Houseworks, handles; Gigi N Studio.
I made the birch bark canoe bed, the butterfly sphere lamp, the chariot boy painting, the leopard cub print, the butterfly display and the white bookcase. The london bus is a pencil topper, the robot is from For Love 21, more ceramics from Alex and a dollhouse from Dragonfly International is being built in the corner. The horse is a paint your own toy, and the house pad is from Crackerjack. I made the little silver leaf turban side table. So more tomorrow, better late than never!
Decmeber 8th, 2011
So progressing from the front door in.... we'll skip to the great room of the " I am a giant" project. The stairs I made with microscope slides and risers I cut and stained with tiny brass rods and brass turnings. I really like the way it turned out, a little nod to history but the clear, light feel of a modern staircase. My dramatic crystal chandi has a table under it but for the purposes of this photo I removed it. The partner desk under the staircase is Bespaq as is the gilt swan chair. The sofa is my design as is the coffee table, mirrored fireplace and cow rug.
December 5th, 2011
Wow December already, promises, promises, how time flies! I decided this was such a big (little) project that I should do the reveal in stages one section one day at a time since I really should show you some before, inbetweens, and afters.... SO the landscapers were there at the front door the other day, they paused for a small respite and the lady of the house put out some kiwi water for them.... she is very kind, but did ask them to step out for the picture, they were quite understandably dirty. They laid out the circular concrete stepping stones in a comfortable random pattern and surrounded them with rich black soil. Really coffee grounds that were baked in the oven to dry them out and prevent mildew. Glued down and then vacuum and spray with scene fixative. Grass is coming next.
November 25th, 2011
HE,HE,HE Black Friday eat your heart out, I was in and out of Hobby Lobby by 8:30 a.m. and JoAnn's was knocked out by quarter to 9 a.m. and I did not even stay up all night! One thing that helped is bypassing department stores for gifts this year and focusing on Etsy. I love being able to support small American businesses all year long, and give someone a quality gift that someone made outside a sweat shop, most likely in their kitchen, while they are at home, making sure their kids do homework and the animals ask to be let out a hundred times a day...(yeah I just described MY work day!) So Wednesday, before all the turkey craziness, on my way out o' town, I stopped at Miniature Maker's in Royal Oak....picked up a few things and lusted over the house and outbuildings they had on display. One had a sign that read "This could be your next project" I was hooked immediately of course... two houses in progress, I need more!!! So I asked proprietess extrodinaire Jeanie, the sitch with the houses... long story short she said the magic words about the adorable little greenhouse shell...FREE to a good home.... PUUUHHHLEEEASSSEEEEE!!!!!! I clapped my hands and shrieked yes yes yes!!! It turns out Mary Kincaid's son made this for a school project....Well I have a random scale Brownstone that is about to get a greenhouse for its backyard. I'll just post pics of the greenhouse right now, I am in awe of the detail and work that went into it!
That big orange cat is Momo, he was really needy when I took the pics and 9 out of 10 pics look like that but blurrier, he was intent on being the star of the shoot. Below his pic is a shot of the " I am a giant" project hallway, more to come later today of that project! But here are a few more teasers...
November 20th,2011 Oh dear, my posts have gotten father apart not closer! In honor of Thanksgiving this week that will change! I just returned from the Toledo show where( big shout out to Glass City Mini Club and T.A.M.E but most of all to Linda @ 3 Blind Mice,it was a great show!) I found a few treasures to add to the "I am a giant dollhouse challenge" and Cindy's Minis won a house in the raffle and oh so kindly handed it over to me......WE had a great time brainstorming the next house project, never to leave it as is, I have been wanting to build a luxe log cabin for quite a while, this humble little kit (the Charlie Brown kit of dollhouse kits) that no one wanted will become a snowbound haven that will make people living in the tropics long to visit ( I know I am kinda choking on that too.... snow is pretty to LOOK at, I give it that!) So I need to take pics of my finished (gasp) " I am a giant dollhouse challenge " project to post them here, I am waiting for the sun to come up tomorrow...check back later this week. In the mean time, have a look at the pictures from my trip to France that inspired all this madness.
It feels as though it has been a month since my last post, not a week! A real-life, true to scale basement flood has absorbed (water pun) most of that week, and has me rethinking my long term goal of acheiving running water in a dollshouse.....While I think it would be fantastic to have tiny working faucets and fountains, the prospect of flood restoration in yet another house is not appealing. Work on the house was slower, but not dammed (ha ha, another water pun, last one I promise). Interior walls went up and the wall paper and upholstered walls are going in. Fabric walls....yet another reason this house will not have running water! The child's bedroom is going to have one of my canoe beds (birch bark) and some lovely scrapbook paper with gorge black and white flowers that speak to me in an art nouveau sort of way. The hallway, master bedroom and child's room are all going to share the lovely grey-lilac field mouse carpeting that I swear is soft as velvet. The bathroom will have de rigeur tile and another scrapbook paper, this with an amazing moroccan arabesque design in silver and greige. I think the color scheme will come as a surprise, black and white and grey not shocking I know, but the accents will surprise, I guarantee it!
Electrification is completed! It seems like an ardous process but it really does move much quicker once you know what you are doing, and if you mark out where each light and outlet should go. I decided to use a combination of round wire and copper tape for this house since it will be travelling around quite a bit and tape alone will be intolerant of structural flux (are't we all). I know the process seems confusing especially since I made it resemble a plate of spaghetti, but all you have to remember is postive to positive and negative to negative, and complete the circuit. The tape has the handy color coding so you can solder the wire to each side, and as long as you don't cross the currents it will be successful. I like the convienience of being able to plug in a lamp, but the outlets and plugs are rather large and bulky considering its miniature so I placed them under or behind furniture. Some of the fixtures will be hardwired in just like a real house, especially the chandis hanging from the roofline.
This is what Daisy dog thinks of late night house construction... Tomorrow flooring and walls go in so decorating can begin, YEAY!!!!! Perhaps a little more late night Etsy surfing for a few small touches to grace the house...
November 2nd, 2011
So the house progresses, it has been slower than one would like, but much faster than real construction, so not really complaining. The cat sitting on me and waving her tail in my face is distracting, just saying. Anywhooo, I have both ends done (yeay) and the roof is only lacking glass, unhunh no pics yet. It gets dark early here now...
Lighting has consumed me, I am burning up for it, sorry I went there. I created a super cool lamp from a perfume flask, and a few silver beads, but I need to lay the copper tape first before I can show them in all their glory. For now here are the pics of progress. Made it to Miniature Maker's in Royal Oak for the Houseworks french doors ( that's porte a double batton for the French or something like that, don't have the Frenchman for French spell check) and then made the oh so snazzy custom door knobs. Very exciting.
Oh yes and I painted each "stone" on the facade to look beveled edged...much quicker than actually bevelling each edge...maybe.
October 30th, 2011
GIGI N STUDIO joins blogdom......
" I can't join in, this ( miniatures ) is my J.O.B., but I really want to join in the fun becasue this is my J.O.B., maybe I have an unfair advantage because this is my J.O.B.??? Would an interior designer not join a design challenge because its their J.O.B.???" A vicious cycle that left me in a want/versus ethics quandry for a couple of weeks. After heming and hawing (literally) for a while and chatting with the lovely ladies of the aforementioned blogs, I decided I would enter but not use anything anyone else bought from me to furnish my house, oh and build a house from scratch in a completely new style (natch) with a nod to history (double natch). So a week later, here are the results...
Sketch to half completion of shell..
I am thinking a few of you see where I am going with this, but for those not so familiar with my thought process... A recent trip to France has me obsessed with Housmanian architecture and oeil de boeuf windows. How to make these classics modern and incorporate all the random bits and pieces I had laying around the studio was a puzzle, all the while keeping an eye on the end cost of this little diversion.
Three sketches later I came up with the shell concept and a very workable floorplan that would satisfy my design sensibilites and maximum use of plate glass to achieve an incredibly bright, sleek, unique dollhouse.